Here’s a great seasonal, yet nondenominational, activity–the enchanted evergreen forest. I use it to practice descriptive concepts.
Assortment of star-shaped buttons with loop backs (as opposed to holes)
Assortment of papers–variety of colors, textures, designs, etc. depending on your goals
String or silk cord
Tree stencil or cardboard tree template
Have students trace tree shapes on a variety of papers and cut them out. Depending on your goals you might ask:
“Make a fuzzy dark green tree.”
“Find a paper with a metallic swirl pattern.”
“Use the paper under the camouflage paper.”
(Holding a glittery white paper) “Why does this remind you of winter?”
“Give me two clues and I’ll guess which paper you will use.”
“Choose your favorite paper and tell me three reasons you like it.”
“Tell me three differences between these two choices.”
You can also practice sorting papers into different piles–metallics, dark or light colors, smooth vs. bumpy, etc.
Trace a tree on the paper, usually easiest to do on the reverse side. Cut it out. Depending on the age or fine motor skills of your client you may want to do the cutting or you may want to do a narrow triangle tree shape. Push the button through the top. The button loop will stick out the other side making it easy to thread on a string or cord. Use the buttons as therapy opportunities:
“Use a gold star on all smooth trees.”
“Put a red star on every patterned tree.”
If you choose to hang your forest like garland, you many want to put a knot between trees to help maintain spacing or knot the button on.
Stringing the trees gives you another opportunity to reinforce concepts or to add a following directions component.
“Put the white tree between two green trees.”
“Put a dark tree on before a metallic tree.”
You also have the option to discuss what “evergreen” means, especially after the typical autumn units on colorful, falling leaves. You may want to discuss the importance of these trees for sheltering animals in cold weather.
If you celebrate Christmas it may be easy to bring in a bough to smell and touch. Even if it’s not your celebration, most Christmas tree sellers will have scrap branches to give you.
Bonus idea: If you put a predominately green evergreen forest up, you can add “snow” with cotton or dabbed white paint once you have your first snowfall.
“We’ll frolic and play, the SLP way, walkin’ in a winter wonderland!”
(This craft idea was adapted from a suggestion in Family Fun magazine)
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